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Old 07-09-14, 01:43 PM   #1
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Trek 730 Road Bike Conversion?

Hi, I'm new to the forum, and I don't have a ton of bicycle knowledge, so forgive me if I don't know something. So I have a Trek 730 that I bought for pretty cheap, and I like it, and it seems to be fairly light. Problem is, when I bike with my friends on their road bikes, I have trouble keeping up, because my bike just doesn't seem to be as fast as theirs. My parents won't let me buy another bike, so I thought that it might be possible to convert this one to be faster. What kinds of parts could I buy (like drop down handlebars) that would make the bike ride more like a road bike? Thanks.
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Old 07-09-14, 01:55 PM   #2
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Sounds like you need to work on your fitness
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Old 07-09-14, 02:20 PM   #3
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To put on drop down handlebars you would need brifters (brake/shifter combination), handlebar tape and new cables minimum. You'd have to make sure that the brifters would work with your front and rear derailleurs. You'd also need to ensure that the handlebars fit the stem properly. Hopefully you would be planning to do all the work yourself as labor would be expensive. Then you'd still have a pretty heavy bike with a geometry that is more upright. Chances are that you could buy a used bike cheaper than converting the 730.

Why won't your parents let you buy another bike? If it's because it's their money or you'd be dipping into a college fund, get a part time job and start saving.
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Old 07-09-14, 03:29 PM   #4
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What exactly is your bike? The Trek "730" model I'm familiar with from back in the early 80s was a high-end racing bike, but Trek has recycled model numbers over the years on entirely different bikes.
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Old 07-09-14, 05:10 PM   #5
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Most of the 730's I've seen are the "Multitrack" hybrids. If you've got a hybrid, the most cost-effective change you could make is to put decent road tires on it. Knobby tread doesn't do you any good on pavement and adds to rolling resistance, slowing you down.
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Old 07-09-14, 06:28 PM   #6
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This bike shows up on Bikepedia as being a made from 1994 to about 1998 and they list the 1997 model weight at 26 pounds which is certainly OK. The picture looks like a road bike except for the handlebar but then when you look at the components it has the MTB range for the drive train. The large chain ring is 42 while every road bike I have owned had a 52 tooth large sprocket. So, it might be a combination of your fitness level and the low top end on the gear range that makes it hard to keep up. The MSRP was in the $500 range in 1997 so spending $$$ on upgrades does not make much sense.
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Old 07-13-14, 10:21 AM   #7
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OP - what is your budget?

You could give it the full road bike treatment: drop bars, brifters, road crankset, tires for around $400- using used and/or low end components.

The cheapest is new road tires and tubes - which will run you $50- to $150- depending on which you pick. This is the MOST effective change.

If you are spinning out in top gear, a road crankset would help; low end $50 - plus likely new BB ($20-) and probably new FD ($20-).
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Old 07-13-14, 03:10 PM   #8
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I had 730 MutiTrac its a decent bike. I changed out the stem and the handlebars to lower the riding position. I also put some higher pressure slick tires on it. The only other thing I could suggest would be better and lighter wheels and hubs. I have a road bike now. There really is no comparing the two bikes. You could make the Trek faster but it will cost some money.
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Old 07-13-14, 05:54 PM   #9
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I have a 1996 Trek Multitrack Hybrid. It's a nice frame that rides well. I did eventually modify it to make it more road friendly, but it will never be as fast as a true road bike. Start with a size 28 road tire. The stock tires were 38s that are way too wide for road use. The next place to go budget wise would be the crank, which is a mountain bike 22-32-42. The large ring on most road bikes is 50 or 52 teeth, so your buddies can generate more speed. I'm assuming you and they are in about equal shape. I changed my crank to a mountain bike 28-38-48. This also meant a new bottom bracket and new chain. I also changed my FD to one spec'd for 48 teeth, but you MIGHT be able to get the original to work with this setup. Think this through before you do anything, though. Saving money for a road bike my be far more cost effective.
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Old 07-14-14, 02:25 AM   #10
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start riding thru areas with more dirt and gravel trails, then your roadie friends will be the ones having issues
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